How Meth Affects The Body


Brain: Using meth releases a flood of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine causing an intense high for hours. However, the high is followed by a crash, which leaves users irritable, depressed, and unable to sleep. After a binge, the individual may not sleep for days, leading to hallucinations, paranoia, depression, and anxiety.

Experts estimate that the “new meth” made from P2P may cause psychosis much quicker than methamphetamines made from ephedrine. Either way, meth use kills your brain’s dopamine cells, leading to psychosis. While some of this damage can eventually be undone with treatment, it takes about a year without substance use.

Heart: Heart disease is the second leading cause of death for meth users. “Meth can raise your blood pressure, constrict blood vessels, speed up heart rate, and cause your heart’s muscles to collapse.”

Immune System: Meth use weakens the immune system.

Kidneys: Likely due to toxins in meth, long-term meth use can cause your kidneys to break down.

Teeth: The derogatory term “meth mouth” refers to advanced gum disease and tooth decay which causes teeth to crumble or fall out. It is unclear to what degree this phenomenon is due to ingesting chemicals in meth or from long periods of poor oral hygiene.

Skin: Meth use can cause extreme itching, leading people who use meth to scratch sores into their face and skin. This type of hallucination is called formication, or the physical hallucination leading users to think they are covered in insects. When under the influence of meth, users have a higher pain threshold, allowing them to scratch more aggressively than if they were sober.